AUSABLE FORKS — The Rev. Ana Rivera-Georgescu is a mother four times over now.
The mother of three was ordained as priest last Sunday at St. James’ Episcopal Church in AuSable Forks.
“Mother Ana” is the first woman vicar at St. James and the 30th female priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Albany. There are 198 total priests in the diocese.
“The people of St. James are really so welcoming, and the community is so welcoming,” Rivera-Georgescu said. “I feel very blessed.”
It was a long road from her Puerto-Rican roots in New York City to the vicarage at St. James.
“My mother is from Santurce, and my father is from San Germán,” she said. “My mother is Margarita. My father was Mario. I was an only child. I grew up in the faith tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. My uncle from my father’s side, my uncle Carlos Rivera, was a pastor of Assembly of God in San Germán. I grew up with both of these influences from the Pentecostal influence and Roman-Catholic influence. I think God was really working. I’m here in the Episcopal Church. We have a wonderful mix of traditions, a liturgical tradition, and we also have wonderful movement of the Holy Spirit, kind of charismatic movement as well in the Episcopal Church. It’s a coming together of all these wonderful traditions, and all are welcome.”
Since she was very young, Rivera-Georgescu felt a call to serve her Lord and her God.
After graduating from Adlai E. Stevenson High School in the Bronx, she attended the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
At a job fair there, she was recruited by the New York City Police Department.
“I took the exam, and God was just wonderful,” said Rivera-Georgescu, who eventually was in the pilot program of officers with a choice of Glocks for weapons. “I went to the New York City Police Academy and completed the academy. I became a police officer. I was stationed in the South Bronx. It was the ‘90s. One of my assignments was Radio Motor Patrol, RMP, and I responded to calls on the radio. Then, my last assignment was the Domestic Violence Unit.”